Powdered Spices More Prone to Adulteration, Go for Whole Spices: Advises ICMR

Powdered Spices More Prone to Adulteration, Go for Whole Spices: Advises ICMR

Powdered Spices More Prone to Adulteration, Go for Whole Spices: Advises ICMR

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In its new instructions, ICMR advises consumers to choose whole spices instead of powdered ones, which are more likely to be contaminated. All you need to know. 

1 June 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

The Indian Council of Medical Research, or ICMR, has released new guidelines that advise consumers to resort to whole spices instead of powdered ones, which are more likely to be contaminated and therefore unhealthy. The ICMR provides advice on choosing safe meals and ensuring they are free from infestation, mould, foreign objects and artificial colouring in Guidelines 12-Consume safe and clean foods.

Spices are a rich source of antioxidants and provide food flavour. They aid in the treatment of numerous illnesses. For food preparation, the ICMR suggests using caution while purchasing spices. People are advised by the medical research body to choose whole spices over powdered ones because the latter may contain adulterants.

Whole spices that are consistent in size, shape and colour should be chosen over powdered spices because the latter are more prone to be tampered with. Purchase only certified goods, advises ICMR. Concerns about pesticides have recently drawn attention to MDH and Everest spice mixes.

To assist Indians in making better food choices, the ICMR and the National Institute of Nutrition published 17 new dietary guidelines for Indians of all ages.

How the ICMR recommends choosing safe food

Food safety may be jeopardised by adulteration, chemical contamination and microbiological contamination. Food’s natural enzymes cause it to deteriorate over time as well. In addition, food is dangerous when it contains natural toxins, adulterants, insects, rodents and different chemical residues that are present in excess of what is allowed. 

Furthermore, the recommendations state that the moisture content of the food as well as certain environmental factors like temperature, humidity and storage duration affect the meal’s quality.

Additionally, the apex organisation provides safety advice while purchasing common foods including eggs, meat, veggies, spices, dairy products and vegetable oils.

In order to reduce the possibility of adulteration, the ICMR emphasises how crucial it is to get vegetable oils from “reliable sources.” This is essential information, especially if you’re buying fats or oils that aren’t sealed and are sold loose. The ICMR advised that only trustworthy sources should be used to purchase butter, ghee and khoa. Moreover, when purchasing milk and milk products, it is best to stick to pasteurised milk.

The ICMR also states that fruits and vegetables should be avoided if they are discoloured, physically damaged, shrunken, bruised or wilted and rotted and show signs of mould and insects.